April 13, 2022

Are You an Adventurer or a Settler? Don’t Answer Until You Hear This Story

Are you an adventurer or a settler?

I just finished listening to “Of Plymouth Plantation” the journal of former Pilgrim Governor William Bradford. It’s filled with fascinating stories that I just don’t recall hearing in school.

The Pilgrims left home, family, friends and country. They faced suffering and death from disease, shipwreck and slaughter.

Throughout Bradford’s journal these bold travelers refer to themselves as the “settlers”.

The “settlers” borrowed money for the journey from wealthy Englishmen, who remained safe at home on the old sod and hoped to get their money back with interest.

In letters back and forth, these homebodies were called “adventurers.”

In today’s English, we would see those “adventurers” as passive investors and the “settlers” as courageous…well…adventurers.

Of course, for both groups the relationship held hope of benefit.

The “adventurers” might make money, so they could buy nice things for their plush British homes.

The “settlers” might remain alive, far, far from home.

Eventually, the “adventurers” got their money back with interest. It took a couple of decades though. And they had ceaseless debates with the “settlers” about how much was owed and paid.

What did the “settlers” get out of the bargain?

During the first winter at New Plymouth, about half of the 100 “settlers” died of disease.

Very few lived to old age. Most went to their graves without knowing the impact their adventure would have on the history of the entire planet.

Would you settle for that?